Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Systems Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 9537r.endres Website




315Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr. Robert Endres leads the biological physics group with its strength in the quantitative understanding of sensing and signalling, and the physics of life network. He also designed and introduced the Masters programme in systems and synthetic biology, and is highly involved in training undergraduate students in systems biology.

Check out my open positions (PhD and postdoc)

Research interests

Group website with lots of extra information (link)

Imperial College Network of Excellence in 'Physics of Life' (link)

Systems biology, information processing, biological physics, cell mechanics (summary pdf).


On 29 July, gave a public lecture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico on Turing patterns (see p. 8 of newsletter)

My inaugural lecture is on 8 July 2022, entitled "Living matter: how it senses, moves, and eats"

New postdoc Roozbeh Pazuki has started in April 2022. Great to have him on board!

Accepted paper in J Roy Soc Interface: T cell morphodynamics reveal periodic shape oscillations in three-dimensional migration with Henry Cavanagh, Daryan Kempe, Jessica Mazalo, and Maté Biro.

Paper accepted in PLoS Comp Biol on Thermodynamic constraints on the assembly and diversity of microbial ecosystems are different near to and far from equilibrium with PhD student Jacob Cook and collaborator Samraat Pawar.

Paper accepted in Nature Communications on Physics-informed deep learning characterizes morphodynamics of Asian Soybean Rust disease with PhD student Harry Cavanagh and collaborators from Syngenta.

New PhD student Antonio Matas Gil has started in October 2021. Welcome!

Co-organiser of virtual "Physics of Life symposium" on 3rd July 2020 (link)

New paper accepted in J Chem Phys: Thermodynamics of switching in multistable non-equilibrium systems, with PhD student Jacob Cook.

My inaugural lecture originally planned for 5th June 2020 is moved to 2nd June 2021 - if travelling and social-distancing measures allow it.

Accepted paper in PNAS on Growth-rate dependent resource investment in bacterial motile behavior with the Sourjik lab at Marburg, Germany.

Upcoming Tom Duke Prize lecture at UCL on 18 September! (link)

In September 2019, I am finally promoted to full Professor!

Accepted in Nature Cell Biology: Persistent and polarized global actin flow is essential for directionality during cell migration, together with the Brian Stramer Lab and former postdoc Linus Schumacher.

New preprint on the role of entropy production during switching in nonequilibrium multistable systems by Jacob Cook and me (pdf)

Accepted in eLife: Shared behavioral mechanisms underlie C. elegans aggregation and swarming, by S.S. Ding, L.J. Schumacher, A.E. Javer, R.G. Endres, and A.E.X. Brown (4/2019)

Maksym Romenskyy was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship to work on social behaviour of C. elegans nematodes, in particular on how genes map to behaviour (2/2019). In collaboration with Andre Brown at Hammersmith campus.

Awarded Imperial 'Physics of Life' network of excellence which I will co-lead with Chris Dunsby from physics and Chiu Fan Lee from bioengineering (1/2019).

Accepted in Cell: "Chromosome translocation inflates Bacillus subtilis forespores and impacts cellular morphology" by Lopez-Garrido, N. Ojkic, K. Khanna, F.R. Wagner, E. Villa, R.G. Endres, and K. Pogliano (UCSD) (link)

Accepted manuscript in Biophysical Journal (letter) entitled "Drift and behavior of E. coli cells", with G. Micali, R. Colin, and V. Sourjik (MPI Marburg).

In press in Rep. Prog. Phys.: "How cells engulf: a review of theoretical approaches to phagocytosis" with D.M. Richards (Exeter).

Accepted manuscript in PLoS Biology entitled "A critical-like collective state leads to long-range cell communication in Dictyostelium discoideum aggregation", with Giovanna De Palo and Darvin Yi (Stanford).

Elected APS Fellow upon recommendation by the Biological Physics Division, October 5, 2016

Accepted manuscript in eLife entitled "Cell wall remodeling drives engulfment during Bacillus subtilis sporulation", with Javier Lopez-Garrido and Kit Pogliano (UCSD).

Linus Schumacher joined group in April 2016. For his PhD work at Oxford University he won the Reinhart Heinrich Doctoral Thesis Award in Mathematical Modelling and Theoretical Biology.

Accepted manuscript in PNAS on particle-shape dependence in phagocytosis with David Richards

Co-organizer of IUPAB/EBSA/BBS/IoP, Edinburgh, July 16-20, 2017 (link)

Editorial Board Member of Nature journal Scientific Reports

Co-organizer of PhysCell2015, Abby Banz, Germany, September 3-5, 2015 (link)

Co-organizer of Physics of Emergent Behaviour II, Science Museum, London, July 9-10, 2015 (link)

Co-organizer of Physics of Emergent Behaviour, Grand Hotel in Brighton, June 24-26, 2013. (link)

Physics of Emergent Behaviour

Undergraduate textbook on Physical Principles in Sensing and Signalling, Oxford University Press, 2013. amazonOUP

Physical priciples in sensing and signalling


In the media

Making an Impact in Biology
Princeton Molecular Biology Newsletter
Imperial College press release and interview
SGM press release


Short biography

Before starting at Imperial College in 2007 as Senior Lecturer, Robert was a postdoc with Prof. Ned Wingreen in the Molecular Biology Department at Princeton University, where his main research accomplishments were the understanding of the remarkable signalling properties of bacterial chemotaxis and the atomistic prediction of protein-DNA binding sites. In 2002 he obtained a PhD in physics from the University of California at Davis. His work, conducted in the group of Prof. Daniel Cox, dealt with charge transfer in biomolecules, in particular in DNA. In 1999 he obtained a Masters physics from the University of Goettingen in Germany, where he worked in the group of Prof. Kurt Schoenhammer on highly correlated electronic systems. In 1996/1997 he also spent an academic year at the University of California at Santa Cruz.



Cavanagh H, Kempe D, Mazalo JK, et al., 2022, T cell morphodynamics reveal periodic shape oscillations in three-dimensional migration, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Vol:19, ISSN:1742-5689

Cook J, Pawar S, Endres R, 2021, Thermodynamic constraints on the assembly and diversity of microbial ecosystems are different near to and far from equilibrium, Plos Computational Biology, Vol:17, ISSN:1553-734X

Endres R, Cavanagh H, Mosbach A, et al., 2021, Physics-informed deep learning characterizes morphodynamics of Asian soybean rust disease, Nature Communications, Vol:12, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-8

Cook J, Pawar S, Endres RG, 2021, Thermodynamic constraints on the assembly and diversity of microbial ecosystems are different near to and far from equilibrium

Ding SS, Muhle LS, Brown A, et al., 2020, Comparison of solitary and collective foraging strategies of Caenorhabditis elegans in patchy food distributions, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:375, ISSN:0962-8436

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